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RYA Northern Ireland is calling for anyone who has an interest in boating to take part in an interactive session to help develop the strategy for sailing, boating and windsurfing in Northern Ireland.

A high-level summary of the strategy, which will cover the next three to five years, was shared at RYA Northern Ireland’s Affiliated Club Conference this weekend.

An online consultation process will then open in the week commencing Monday 12 December and two online consultation sessions will take place on Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 January. All of these will help inform the development of the next stages of the strategy, the regional sailing body says.

RYANI’s chief operating officer Greg Yarnall says: “We are excited to begin further consultation on our new strategy and are looking forward to working with those who help make our sport happen.

“As part of this process, we will be sharing and asking for feedback on where we have got to so far. This will include the emerging strategic priorities, our values — beliefs and behaviours — and the guiding principles that will help us when making decisions.”

He adds: “These consultation sessions and online feedback sessions are vital as the strategy needs to feel relatable to the people involved in the sport, as participants or as volunteers, coaches, instructors or officials.

“We want the whole boating community to feel connected to the strategy and for it to be clear how everyone will be able to contribute to helping the sport prosper over the coming months and years.”

Places can be booked now via Eventbrite for the January interactive consultation sessions. And full details on the consultation process will be available on the RYANI website on 12 December.

The online consultation survey should take between 15-20 minutes, and the closing date for submissions is 5pm on Tuesday 17 January 2023.

This story was updated on Tuesday 13 December with a link to the online survey and details of the closing date.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
Tagged under

The British Government has launched its long-anticipated consultation with red diesel users across the UK, including Northern Ireland, following the news of plans to restrict the fuel’s usage from 2022.

This past April the UK’s Cruising Association confirmed Westminster’s intention to legislate for a ban on the use of subsidised dyed or ‘red’ diesel except for agriculture, railway and non-commercial heating.

The move is being touted as a way to tackle climate change by giving businesses an incentive to improve their energy efficiency.

But it would also bring the UK into line with EU regulations, as has Ireland’s own ban on green diesel use for cruising and leisure boating which came into force at the start of this year.

The HMRC consultation, which is open until Thursday 1 October, will seek the input of recreational boaters, among others, to determine whether they and other sectors should be allowed to maintain use of red diesel beyond April 2022.

The UK’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA) insists that it backs efforts to increase energy efficiency in the short-term and to strive towards a zero-carbon future.

However, it also makes the case for retaining red diesel based on “existing supply needs, not colour, tax status or price”.

The RYA says: “Recreational boaters already pay the full rate of duty and VAT when purchasing fuel for the purposes of propulsion.

“We will therefore be looking at the proposals to reform the tax treatment of red diesel closely to see how this might affect the supply of fuel for recreational use for both propulsion and how it will impact supply for domestic usage such as heating.

“It is a fact that the further west and north you travel in the UK, the more likely it is that you will have to rely on waterside outlets that only supply red diesel for commercial purposes, such as to fishing fleets.

“In many places, some remote, the limited quantities of fuel used by recreational craft do not warrant the cost of installing additional equipment to supply white diesel for the recreational boating sector.

“If the Government removes the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022 and white diesel is then made as widely available as red diesel is now, then supply of fuel will not be affected.

“The RYA will be responding to this call for evidence and urges any members with an interest in red diesel to participate in the consultation.”

Published in Cruising
Tagged under

Ports in the UK, once designated as freeports, will have no domestic taxes levied on any goods within them, according to a Multimodal news update.

Taxes will only be levied when a product leaves the freeport, and enters the rest of the UK.

This has the effect of encouraging international business to come to the UK to process or store goods with little to no red tape, bringing jobs and investment in the mainly coastal communities that have been neglected during the UK’s membership of the EU. Ten are set to be designated by the end of the year.

OrderOrder has more to report on the story and on the industry leaders which have already started lobbying for freeport status.

Afloat adds among the freeports proposed is an Atlantic freeport in Wales located on the Milford Haven Waterway. Where (pictured above) is tanker, Thun London (18,650 deadweight) one of five new chemical product tankers for a Swedish lake based shipping group.

Thun London, Afloat also adds yesterday completed a passage from the Welsh waterway (incl. Pembroke Dock) to Dublin Port where the new vessel remains berthed today.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Views of the public, businesses and other interested parties is been sought from Dublin Port Company, on the benefits of investing €108 million in terminal facilities to attract more cruise ships, writes The Irish Times. 

The semi-State company (yesterday) launched a public consultation on the future of cruise tourism, seeking opinions on the appetite in the city for his large-scale tourism business, managing the increase in air emissions from additional cruise ships and the financial challenge of funding the proposed new berths.

Economic consultants Indecon estimate the €108 million spent on new berths at the port’s North Wall Quay extension between 2024 and 2026 could generate a net economic benefit of €211 million based on 2019 values.

The port company, however, has said it cannot finance the project itself given its €1 billion plan to build extra capacity to accommodate the projected growth of cargo up to the year 2040.

The proposed new berths would be of limited alternative use outside of cruise ships such as for generating revenue for cargo operations, the company said.

Click here for more on the story. 

Published in Dublin Port

Plans for a white-water rafting circuit in the heart of Dublin have come back to the fore, as The Irish Times reports.

Earlier this year Dublin City councillors were presented with plans for scheme, which aims to transform George’s Dock in the north inner city into an “elite” white-water canoeing, kayaking and rescue training facility.

Plans stalled before the elections, with former lord mayor Nial Ring branding the White Water Rafting Centre proposals as a “white elephant”.

Changes in the council since this summer’s local elections have now seen the project revived, and it has been opened for public consultation until Thursday 3 October.

But the former lord mayor’s sentiments are echoed by critics who suggest there has been “no consideration” for inner-city youths in the proposals.

Published in Canoeing

Feedback from the public and interested stakeholders is being sought on the Government’s Marine Planning Policy Statement by Friday 9 August.

The statement sets out efforts to bring marine planning “into the mainstream of Government functions” as issues surrounding land use, climate change and more come into greater focus.

Earlier this year, it was reported that more than half of submissions in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

In its own submission, the Irish Marine Federation said barriers to investment and sustainability around the Irish coastline have for “took long stymied growth in the marine sphere”.

The trade body’s chair Paal Janson says its members voices are being heard at regular meetings with Minister of State Damien English in The Custom House, and he looks forward to incorporating feedback from its members on the policy statement consultation draft, which is attached below.

Published in Marine Planning

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks.

RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The MCA has launched this consultation following the Cheeki Rafiki trial where the judge commented that there were aspects not covered by the construction standards for small commercial vessels which should be considered best practice.

“The RYA already provides a considerable amount of safety advice that is readily accessible by the boating public and intends to submit a full response, outlining our views and the concerns of our members.

“Our response will focus on the interests of pleasure boaters with the aim of ensuring that any guidance is clear, realistic and proportionate.”

The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of lifesaving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs.

They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats.

The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:

  • Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice
  • What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment
  • If there is the right level of content in each MGN

Full details on the draft MGNS and how to give your views can be found on the UK Government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation.

The consultation closes on Thursday 18 July and the RYA encourages all UK boaters to respond.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#ferries - The Isle of Man infrastructure minister reports Manx Radio, has pledged to make the findings of the Steam Packet consultation available to the public - in full.

Ray Harmer recently appeared on the radio station's Perspective programme to discuss government's acquisition of the company, which he says has been ongoing since 2016.

Douglas East MHK Chris Robertshaw has been critical of Treasury and the Department of Infrastructure throughout the process, arguing there's been a lack of transparency.

Mr Harmer says full results of the consultation 'can' be available soon.

To listen to his comments click the link to a podcast here.

Published in Ferry

#InlandWaters - A series of three ‘community information events’ on the next phase of the Ulster Canal Greenway begins this week, with a meeting at Tyholland Community Centre in Co Monaghan from 4pm to 8pm tomorrow (Tuesday 2 October).

This will be followed by events at Middletown Community Parish Hall, Co Armagh on Wednesday 10 October, and Smithborough Community Hall, Co Monaghan on Thursday 18 October, both also from 4pm to 8pm.

Waterways Ireland; Monaghan County Council; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; and East Border Region Ltd are working in partnership to deliver Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal Greenway.

Landowners, local communities and the general public are invited to these information events to find out more about the project.​

Published in Inland Waterways

#Watersport - Proposals for a national watersport centre in Dun Laoghaire Harbour have been revived with the launch of a preliminary market consultation.

Afloat.ie previously reported on plans in 2015 for a ‘National Watersports Academy’ on the site of the former Stena HSS terminal.

With that facility at St Michael’s Pier set to reopen later this year as the Harbour Innovation Campus, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has scaled back its plans and selected a new location at Traders Wharf further to the west, close to the existing home of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School.

Per the consultation document, the harbour company “envisions a multi-discipline centre” encompassing sailing, powerboating and related training; diving; kayaking and SUP; rowing and dragon boating; windsurfing, wakeboarding and waterskiing.

“This is an exciting initiative, which could provide a high calibre water sports centre in a truly unique marine environment,” the harbour company adds.

Expressions of interest are being sought from “parties with the relevant expertise, experience and resources” by 5pm on Tuesday 13 March to Gerry Dunne at [email protected].

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